During an age of dynamic business processes and complex customer experience journeys, a well-defined knowledge management strategy is essential for every organization.
Not only does a good KM strategy improve staff performance and product-service quality, but it also keeps track of vital metrics that can ensure you are continually improving the way in which knowledge is found, consumed and communicated to your customers.
This can give your business a competitive edge over your industry rivals who don’t have the technology to track these metrics or the processes in place to implement change once they have them. Despite the many benefits that come from having a pragmatic approach towards knowledge management, many organizations struggle with implementation, strategy and utilising the technology to its full potential.
According to a survey by Deloitte insights, 82% of the respondents admitted that they needed to improve their knowledge management process or software – while 79% said that they needed to have better strategies to power innovation. This is where a knowledge management strategy comes into play and puts the business as a whole in sync.
In this article we will define what a knowledge management strategy is, explore the various components that bring it together, touch on the different types there are and guide you through 4 steps to developing your own actionable knowledge management strategy to get your started.
What is a Knowledge Management Strategy?
A knowledge management strategy is an actionable plan to help organizations manage and centralize knowledge to enhance performance, provide a competitive industrial edge, and increase product quality.
An effective knowledge management strategy should be pragmatic and consider key components including processes, people (culture), content, technology, customer intent and behaviour and the various channels you are using to communicate to them.
Components of a Knowledge Management Strategy
- People and Culture
The people are what make the mission of your organization possible and should be the foundation upon which your knowledge management strategy stands. Many times, organizations jeopardize the success of their KM programs by focusing solemnly on the tech aspects. Don’t get caught in this hype.
Your strategy should curate ways for knowledge to stream through everybody in a way that inspires transformation. Analyse and understand your user base to the core.
Culturally your strategy should develop ways and cultural frameworks that will facilitate long-term success by embracing the power of knowledge management.
We live in a tech-driven world and your strategy should help you define the tools required to run a successful knowledge management campaign. With many knowledge management software in the market, it is critical to select tools that have all your needs in one place and include the integrations you require for seamless daily use and sign-on.
Some key features and tools to look for include good automation, smart search, process guidance, advanced reports-analytics, quizzes, feedback notes and good customer support.
This component of your knowledge management strategy helps you define ways in which to achieve your main objectives. This should include ways in which your team intends to cover every aspect of the knowledge flow process, creation and authoring, identification, collection, review, sharing, access, and implementation.
- The Content
The analysis of information that flows in a knowledge management system is important. Some questions you should ask to nail this part of your KM strategy include:
- Where is your content stored? Is it safe and accessible?
- How enhanced is the content?
- What content management process do you use?
- Is your content up to date or being updated regularly?
- Are you taking into consideration staff and customer feedback when updating process guidelines and questionnaires?
These are just a few important questions you should be asking during your demonstrations and before any final decisions.
8 Types of Knowledge Management Strategies
Different management strategies play different roles in helping you achieve your objectives.
The 8 different pillars of knowledge management strategy include Motivate, network, supply, and demand analyse, codify, disseminate, implement, and augment.
Motivating your employees and all people involved in the knowledge management roadmap is important to achieving your main objectives. Some ways to achieve this include gamification, monitoring and reporting of key metrics, and the development of easily attainable goals.
Good networking is a critical element of success in the modern business world. Developing frameworks upon which knowledge management material is shared is beneficial to organizations in several ways. One major benefit is that it enables the parties involved to learn ways in which they can capitalize on knowledge management.
- Supply & Demand
Just like any business venture, supply and demand are non-negotiable components. In this context, supply involves processes such as the development, storage, and management of files, while demand mainly deals with user processes.
Supply should be strategic because the raw data collected can be analysed and augmented to provide useful insight.
- Analyse and Activate
Data-driven decision-making is a non-negotiable business process in the modern world. Using technologies such as machine learning and predictive analytics, collected data is analysed to provide actionable insight.
Once analysed, the collected knowledge is codified to create standard frameworks, repeatable processes, and reusable material. Examples of processes in this strategy include the production of an official method catalogue, the definition of proven practices, and the refining of knowledge once it has been captured and rendered.
Analysed and codified knowledge is useless unless the target audience is aware of its existence, they have access to it or that it can be delivered to them through various channels including websites, email, chat bots, phone, face to face or social media.
Words are dead until action brings them to life. Gradual modification of knowledge management processes is important because it helps you identify in-demand knowledge. This facilitates data-driven decision-making. Having staff or managers dedicated to this role is key.
- Invent and Augment
Don’t stick to the methodologies and strategies existing in knowledge management literature. Invent new technologies and processes to take your knowledge management strategy to the next level. Also, consider using technologies that adapt to your changing work force and business model of sales, support, and service.
Develop A Practical KM Strategy in 4 Simple Steps
Now that you understand the nitty-gritty of KM strategy, let’s see how you can use this 5-step method to develop your own strategy.
- Audit your knowledge base and create objectives
Like any other business transformation initiative, the first step is to understand your position. Using the main components of KM strategy development discussed earlier, define, and document your position. Assess your knowledge base, what it has to offer, and what can be done to make it better.
This helps you have a clear vision of what milestones you want to achieve. This maybe be improving your customer experience or empowering your staff to be more productive.
Once you have assessed the current state of your knowledge management methodology, it’s time to outline and document your objectives. Categorize your objectives in short term and long term, based on their importance to accomplishing your business needs.
- Define your business transformation roadmap
One major determiner of success in modern businesses is how well your senior staff and agents adapt to new changes. Prepare your staff to embrace the importance of knowledge management. This stage is also a good time to define your high-level process and what role it will play in this transformation journey. A well-defined process ensures the effectiveness of the KM strategy, the implementation and its overall adoption as staff become more engaged and confident using the technology and trusting the knowledge within it.
- Define your technological needs
Now that your staff are culturally prepared to embrace knowledge management, it’s time to assess your tech needs. Technological needs have several layers including the hardware components, architecture, security, user control and regular updates. It’s a good idea to be prepared for these costs, the time to deal with them and the right staff in place to ensure everything goes smoothly.
With the knowledge management solution marketplace condensed with different tools, it’s important to vet every provider. What is their solution primarily built for? What is their reputation in the industry? What is their training and support like? What is the cost of their solution as we scale up or down? These are just a few questions you should be asking during your short-listing stages and it is vital you include every senior staff member who will be involved in implementing it, maintaining it and utilising it for success.
- Developing an Implementation Plan
This is a stage that many businesses ignore when developing a KM strategy. This stage is one of the most critical stages of the process. By developing an implementation plan, you take away the guesswork from the process. It also helps you have a clear picture of the resources required to achieve your stated objectives.
Once you have a well-documented implementation plan, it’s time to implement, analyse and modify the strategy based on the results.
Develop a Practical KM Strategy using livepro
A good KM strategy and a reliable KMS is a long-term investment for your business. We hope that this article will help you to get started with the process and better understand what is involved and how it affects the whole business.
When it comes to knowledge management, livepro is dedicated to leveling the playing field and give your businesses a chance to develop pragmatic KM strategies, implementation, training, and support that will you set you up for success.
Get started with livepro today and book a live demonstration.